by Charlene Burgi
No matter how you slice or dice it, December seems to be the month in need of advance preparations. Major holidays are celebrated in December. In our family, three birthdays are also thrown into the mix. Houses are cleaned and decorated for the onslaught of company; meals are planned; gifts are pondered, purchased and wrapped. Cookie recipes old and new are selected for baking days that add to the fray of an already busy schedule.
For me, that routine has been typical for the past untold years, but this year I find myself minimizing the norm. Instead of getting caught in the bustle, I find myself absorbed in the newest favorite seed catalog that came in the mail this week. As each page is turned, plans are formulating about what is going where, how to better protect the plants from squirrels and other marauders, and what still needs to be done to make it all happen. New seed types are earmarked for potential trial and researched to confirm they’ll thrive in the short growing season here in northeast California.
Bareroot roses, fruit trees, berries and perennial veggies coming soon to favorite nurseries are dancing in my head instead of visions of sugar-plums. There is an abundant assortment of plants in bareroot form, and they carry price tags less than you will find any other time of year. Thinking of bareroot plants, my mind drifts to the Euonymus alatus, otherwise known as burning bush, that I bought at our local nursery this past year. The brilliant color displayed by those shrubs this autumn was a sight to behold. Besides reveling in color, they make a great foundation plant, and I add more to my list I am preparing for spring.
Bulbs are also showing up in our catalogs and on garden websites now. As I walked into the garage this week, I chided myself for the unplanted daffodils still waiting to go into the frozen ground. A quick call to Jack, who had an appointment in Marin, requested purchasing a bag of soil that wasn’t frozen. I could still get these harbingers of spring into a container before they dried out.
As I write the blog, the phone rings. Unexpected company is on their way here. With that, my mind wakes from its dreams of garden plans and moves into holiday preparations.
My wish for all of you is to rest in the peace that can come with the holidays by planning for it. Relish the blessings that come with friends and family. Take time to reflect on the past and plan for new joys in the future.
And I take a moment here to thank you all for the gifts you have given of yourselves throughout the year. Your inquiries, shared wisdoms and words of encouragement are treasured.
A joyous Christmas and blessings to all.